Earth Day: Build on the past 44 and create for the next 45
Fran Fay, Head of Sustainability
Today is the 45th annual Earth Day. Looking back at the changes in energy mix, global trends and opinions since the first one, it makes me wonder what is in store for the next 45 years. Are we able to make the right decisions as individuals, companies, countries and as a global collective to ensure that we are able to reduce emissions to a safe level?
In the 1970s, the energy mix was predominately oil and solid fuel, with smaller levels of natural gas. Today we see a continuing to shift to a far wider mix with more natural gas, less coal or solid fuel and a steady rise in the use of renewable sources.
Looking forward to 2070 – when research indicates the global population will peak – fossil fuels will still provide most of the world’s energy needs. However, the mix will shift, with renewables and unconventional fossil fuels taking a larger share, along with gas.
Increased energy demands, along with fossil fuel reliance creates an environmental dilemma. How do we meet this demand but still reduce carbon emissions to peg temperature rises to two degrees? The current rate is not sustainable, despite government policies and intentions and it highlights the scale of the task facing this year’s UN-led discussions in Paris. No single change or policy is likely to be sufficient on its own. It’s going to take fundamental change in thinking from numerous parties to get us there.
So how can we all help? Earth Days give us the focus to do something different, to change a habit, or challenge yourself to make a positive difference. More than a billion people participate each year – so see what’s going on locally, or start something for your office, team, or family!
Make your Earth Day count.
Meet the blogger
Fran has worked as a sustainability professional within the company for eight years, supporting the development and integration of the sustainability culture.
She has an understanding of global sustainable development issues, with the experience and knowledge to translate these into local and personal action programmes appropriate to the business and culture.
Fran is experienced in global carbon accounting, reporting in line with external reporting requirements and standards. She continues to support the organisation in reducing its carbon emissions in line with long term targets and milestones.
She is responsible for the development of Amec Foster Wheeler's annual sustainability report in line with Global Reporting Initiative standards, and UN Global Compact COP requirements. She regularly engages with internal and external stakeholder groups to ensure that they understand our sustainability culture, and that we continue to improve our communications and our programme where applicable.